Jeff. Speedway Race Report
CAMBRIDGE- Four more 2023 track champions were crowned at Jefferson Speedway, Saturday, Sep. 9. After continued dominance throughout the season, Robbie Rucks, Deerfield, claimed the Hobby Stock division, Jason Erickson, Jefferson, secured the Late Model division, Weston Strese, Jefferson, brought home the title for the Internationals, and Trent Rueth, Johnson Creek, stayed ahead of Nick Schmidt to win in the Bandits division.
The Late Models highlighted the night with a 60-lap championship feature. Jason Erickson has stayed well ahead in the points standings all season for the Late Models with five feature wins. Steven Sauer, Waterloo, took the early lead off pole position in the feature followed by rookie Shane Radtke Jr., Johnson Creek in second. With 39 to go Sauer and Radtke collided into the wall and both got sent to the back. Michael Guderski, Manchester, battled Shaun Scheel, Lake Mills, for the lead after the restart and went back and forth throughout the majority of the race. The final caution of the race came out with five laps to go and Scheel sped into the lead at the restart. Guderski was unable to get by the bright green number eight car of Scheel before the finish. The win was Scheel’s second feature win of the season.
With the drop of the green flag Landon Peterson, Fort Atkinson, took control of the lead early in the Bandits season championship feature. Cooper Bodendorfer, Muskego, stayed close in second and Mason Wilcott, Watertown, made his way up to the leaders as well. Tommy Schuette, Fort Atkinson, managed to get ahead of Bodendorfer and it became a three man race up front between Peterson, Wilcott, and Schuette. Chaos ensued into the final backstretch as Wilcott bumped Peterson and knocked him off course which gave Wilcott the opening to cruise through the finish. Wilcott was penalized one place for rough driving. The feature win was awarded to Peterson, Wilcott was given second and Schuette finished third. Trent Rueth stayed ahead of defending track champion Nick Schmidt in the points standings to secure the 2023 track championship for the Bandits.
It was the rookie Ethan Degner, Watertown, who claimed the lead early in the Hobby Stock championship feature race. Degner got out ahead of the crowd early, but fellow rookie Avery Linnerud, Milton, broke away from the pack and quickly closed the gap on Degner’s lead. The first caution of the race came with 27 laps to go, Linnerud managed to sneak by the outside of Degner for the lead at the restart. The top ranked rookie didn’t look back as he held off Jim Tate Jr. to earn his first feature win of the season in the championship feature. Robbie Rucks finished firmly at the top of the points standings with three feature wins to secure the 2023 track championship for the Hobby Stocks.
In the International championship feature race, Mark Dewey, Janesville, put himself in the lead with 22 to go. Top ranked rookie Blake Nottestad, Cambridge, and Kyle Stark, Marshall, breathed down Dewey’s neck not far behind. With 15 laps to go Weston Strese, Jefferson, and Mark English, Janesville, joined the leaders. The tight battle up front led to a collision between Dewey and English that shook up the front group. Dewey was forced to drop out of the race, while Nottestad took the opening to take the lead followed by English and Strese. With seven to go Strese made his move to second and began tracking Nottestad in the lead. The rookie skillfully held off Strese’s efforts and earned the victory. As the season points leader with five feature wins, Weston Strese won the 2023 International track championship.
The Late Models began with an early battle between Tyler Peterson, Lake Geneva, and Robert Retallick, Deerfield, with Peterson capturing the lead with seven laps to go. Bill Bush, Jefferson, passed Retallick to get within striking distance of Peterson, but was unable to catch him before the finish. Jerry Eckhardt, Johnson Creek, took an early lead over Alen Shierling, Waupun, and began to run away with the race. Trevor Robinson, Roscoe, Illinois, kept Shierling occupied with a battle for second that allowed Eckhardt to keep his lead through the finish. Stephen Scheel, Lake Mills, took off for the lead in heat three and kept the field at bay with a four car lengths lead that Scott Patrick, Dousman, was unable to crack. Michael Gruenberg, Wisconsin Dells, kept pace with Dylan Schuyler, Jefferson, early before he managed to put a full car length ahead for the lead. Schuyler held off rookie Karter Stark, Marshall, to secure second place.
In the consolation race Trevor Robinson and Chris Flairty put themselves into the last chance race as the top two finishers. Scott Patrick, Carson Phillips, Ronnie Osborne, and Rob Retallick put their names in the hat for the championship feature as the top four finishers in the last chance race.
Jason Erickson kept his streak alive as the quick qualifier for the Late Models with a 14.322 second lap.
In the Bandit division Merek Pankow, Jefferson, took home the first heat in impressive fashion. Pankow cruised all the way from the back to put an end to the early lead of Brian Brewster and win the heat. Chris Cowan, Edgerton, left no doubt in the second heat for the Bandits as he claimed the early lead and kept the rest of the field in his rear view. The third heat of the Bandits was messy early with Gaven Smothers, Watertown, rubbed into the infield the first time by the flag stand. Cooper Bodendorfer, Muskego, got out to the early lead amidst the chaos and managed to hold off Matt Krinke, Watertown, for the lead. In the final heat for the Bandits Landon Peterson, Fort Atkinson, earned himself the win and Ryan Oetzel, Brodhead, beat out Nick Schmidt, Watertown, in the battle for second place.
Josh Lenz and Logan Jones finished top two in the consolation race to earn a place in the last chance race. It was Jordan Lamb, Zack Barnes, Aaron Genske, and Chris Cowan who earned their spot in the championship feature via the last chance race.
Mason Wilcott, Watertown, set the quick time for the Bandits with a 14.367 second lap.
The first heat of the Hobby Stock division was awarded to rookie Michael Weissman, Johnson Creek, who wasted no time claiming the lead. Weissman maintained a car length on the rest of the field and earned the heat win. The cars were tight together early in the second heat, but Chase Wangsness, Jefferson, set the tone with the lead at the halfway point. Dylan Schuyler, Jefferson, pulled into the lead followed by Tony Ciano, Janesville. Ciano timed his kill perfectly as he stuck his hood across the finish line mere inches in front of Schuyler. Scott “Chico” Riedner immediately jumped to the front and began to put space between himself and the rest of the field. Rookie Avery Linnerud, Milton, was the closest to catching Riedner as he won the second place battle against Tucker Bodendorfer, Muskego.
Hunter Milbrath, Jessica Breunig, Dylan Eagan, and Jim Wolf finished top four in the last chance race to earn positions at the back of the championship feature.
Jim Tate Jr. was the night’s quick qualifier for Hobby Stocks with a 15.547 second lap.
Rookie Tyler Muller, Sun Prairie, held the first lead of the night in heat one of the International division. Timothy Higgins, Bonduel, claimed Muller’s lead with four to go followed closely by Carson Strese, Jefferson. Higgins managed to hold off Strese for the win. Mark English, Janesville, attempted to break up the front row early in the second heat of the division. A three man battle between Kyle Riedner, Waunakee, Tyler Deschaine, Loves Park, Illinois, and English took place throughout the race until Deschaine took control with three laps to go. Riedner managed to hold off English for second.
Weston Strese was the fastest qualifier for the Internationals with a 15.516 second lap.
Jefferson Speedway wrapped up their regular season race nights, but Wisconsin’s action track will host the State Championships this weekend, Friday, Sep. 15, and Saturday, Sep. 16. The track will also host two more Track Attack events, Sep. 22, and Oct. 20, a Tournament of Destruction, Oct. 21, and will host the Madison Sports Car Club, Sep. 24. Don’t miss the thrilling nights of racing, visit the Jefferson Speedway website for more information